Rinshan Kaihou Cologne
Riichi Mahjong Club

We were at Warae no Taikai 2022

published on 2022-03-26, last updated on 2022-03-29 written by Manuel
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Two years of pandemic, two years of no tournaments and no meeting with the big Riichi family… hard times for every one of us who had already made a name for themselves. Around four weeks ago, I received an email from Foppe Baker, leader of the Dutch Mahjong Club Niji. They were planning to organize the “Wakare no Taikai”, a farewell tournament: the location would be closing its doors forever. We couldn’t wait to finally play competitive mahjong again!

For the first time, our club participated with 6 members; for three of them, it would be their first tournament.

After buying disinfectant, something to drink for on the way and taking our freshly printed t-shirts and hoodies with our new logo, we started our journey to Berghem (NL) at 6:30 a.m. Madeleine, Jonas, Hiroshi and I were riding in one car while Ken and Thai took another one. Almost like a tradition, we stopped at the nearby Jumbo supermarket and get something for breakfast.

At 8:30, we arrived and were welcome my Anneke Baker, Foppe’s wife, who did the registration. After picking lots, our tables were carved in stone. Luckily for us, only Ken and Thai were battling out in the 1st hanchan as fellow club members. The rest were paired up with other contestants, best if one wants to receive the full experience.

There were 4 hanchans scheduled, so it’d be just your regular one-day tournament. Also joining the brawl were the people from the Brussels Mahjong Club: Nathan, Thibaultand Laurent as well as some other Dutch players whom I’ve never met before, which raised hope, that there’ll be some new face around on other tournaments too.

The hanchans for myself when quite well. I was able to win three tables and ended up third once, which ensured me an overall third place. The level of play was quite good to be honest. It hasn’t been your standard MCR play style on a Riichi tournament, which I always experienced in the past in the Netherlands and the etiquette was well maintained, thanks to the organizers handing out en etiquette list via mail in advance.

Next follow up from our club were: Thai (18th), Hiroshi (25th), Jonas (29th), Ken (39th) and Madeleine (46th). The winner of the tournament was Rowin and 2nd place went to Ria.

Winners of Warae no Taikai 2022: Ria (2nd), Rowin (1st) and Manuel (3rd)

After the award ceremony, we went back home, reminiscing what crazy, wonderful and also absurd situations had happened at the table. A lot had been learned at the tournament, and it’d been a good experience of what more there is to come and look out for! 

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